GOP leaders respond to concerns about ‘read the bill’ on Patriot Act renewal

Jonathan Strong Jonathan Strong, 27, is a reporter for the Daily Caller covering Congress. Previously, he was a reporter for Inside EPA where he wrote about environmental regulation in great detail, and before that a staffer for Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA). Strong graduated from Wheaton College (IL) with a degree in political science in 2006. He is a huge fan of and season ticket holder to the Washington Capitals hockey team. Strong and his wife reside in Arlington.
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Top House Republicans delayed a vote on renewal of the Patriot Act Thursday and are providing a briefing to GOP freshmen who complained – and helped vote down the measure – over concerns about the rushed, 45-minute floor debate originally provided.

Now, the bill will get five hours of debate, either Friday or Monday.

GOP Reps. Lamar Smith, Jim Sensenbrenner, Mike Rogers and Peter Roskam will deliver the briefing late Thursday afternoon. All hold key committee or leadership slots.

As reported by The Daily Caller, GOP critics cited the limited debate as a key reason the measure went down.

The bill was originally scheduled under suspension of the rules, a House procedure normally reserved for non-controversial proposals that requires a 2/3 majority vote to pass.

“The big thing that we have to do is make sure that anything we’re voting for, we know darn sure what we’re voting for,” said freshman Rep. Bobby Schilling, Illinois Republican.

Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, decried the process as “little debate, no committee hearings held, no amendments allowed, and no examination of whether our government had lived up to its responsibility to protect the liberty of the people.”

Schilling praised Republican leadership for its response to the concerns.

“Republican leadership is doing the right thing by setting up briefings so members like myself can take a close look at the expiring Patriot Act provisions and make the right decisions for our constituents and America.”

The briefing was first reported by Politico.